The San Antonio Spurs have built one of the most exciting young cores in the NBA over the last few seasons. Whether it's late first round gems like Keldon Johnson, lottery sleepers like Devin Vassell, or the most hyped prospect in recent history in Victor Wembanyama, the Silver and Black have always had a nose for finding guys who fit their system.
But what about Jeremy Sochan? The ninth overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft averaged a rock-solid 11.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 56 games during his rookie season, garnering him an All-Rookie Second Team selection. At 6-foot-9, the Baylor product was a pest on the defensive end, and he helped the Spurs get stops and lead the break for easy baskets.
Sochan also showed flashes of playmaking potential, as he demonstrated outstanding vision for a forward. He set his teammates up for good looks and flaunted his vibrant personality off the court, often drawing comparisons to Boris Diaw and Dennis Rodman. There is no doubt the youngster will have a long and successful NBA career, but how can he take his game to the next level?
1.) Spacing the Floor
Having a 3-and-D wing has become a necessity for winning teams in the NBA. While Sochan certainly played up to standard on the defensive end as a rookie, his shooting leaves more than a little room for improvement. He made strides throughout the season, but he has a long way to go before opponents respect him on the perimeter.
Sochan began turning things around when he switched to one-handed free throws, which helped him raise his percentage from the stripe tremendously. Fans shouldn't expect the second-year forward to start shooting with one hand from deep, but he will likely see a steady improvement in his three-point numbers as he continues tweaking his mechanics.
The Polish prospect ranked last on the Spurs in three-point percentage last season, connecting on a less than stellar 24.6% of his 2.4 attempts per game. The league average mark from deep was 36.1% in 2022-23, and if Sochan ever reaches that percentage, it will open up a whole new layer of his game as he provides better spacing for his teammates.